The briefcase squeaked as I pulled it open, I already knew what was inside before I looked. But the moment my eyes fell onto it’s contents and my suspicions were confirmed, I couldn’t help but gasp.
I slammed the lid shut immediately and took a deep breath. My heart was pounding and the room began to spin, this can’t be real.
I opened the lid slightly and peered inside. Hundreds of little plastic baggies were thrown In haphazardly, a kaleidoscope of illegal substances. There were countless bags of Roxicodone – my drug of choice–and each bag contained about 10 pills. There were also baggies filled with a white substance which I can only assume is cocaine, as well as weed and other pills I didn’t recognize.
I was sitting in a cops house, with a briefcase full of thousands of dollars worth of pills on my lap. Even if I wanted to sell all this, I wouldn’t know where to begin — and it would take me years to get rid of all of it. Did Jacob seriously think I was going to ride around town slinging drugs out of my damn trunk? Jesus, what if I got caught with this thing? I could see it now; “Cops girlfriend arrested with 6 billion pounds of narcotics.”
This was bad. This was really bad. A few hours ago I was withdrawing on my kitchen floor and wanting to die, then I was injected with drugs for the first time, almost molested by my drug dealer, ran out of gas in the ghetto and rescued by an old friend who forced me to take a suitcase filled with a pharmacies worth of drugs. What the hell kind of Twilight Zone episode had my life become?
I tucked the briefcase into the closet under a pile of clothes and headed out to the living room where Chuck was waiting patiently; a bowl of popcorn in his lap and the movie paused. He picked a movie titled “Sinister”…how fitting.
Two weeks had passed since I’d acquired the briefcase and I must say–I was doing surprisingly well unloading the merchandise. I had researched “How To Be A Good Drug Dealer” and learned some pretty neat tips, the most helpful being that people would buy more, if you offered them a discounted rate for buying in bulk. I had gone straight to Lazarus and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. I’m not gonna lie, it felt pretty awesome slangin’ drugs out of my leather suitcase– I considered asking people to start calling me Pablina Escobar, but didn’t want to get ahead of myself.
Also, I’m pretty sure Pablo Escobar never injected himself with his own supply. I knew it was going to happen the minute I saw all those bags in the case. I’m an addict for God’s sake. It’s like giving a kid an ice cream cone, and telling him not to eat it.
I wasn’t planning on shooting up again, but Kayla said she tried shooting up a Roxie and it was way better than snorting it. So naturally, believing one must try everything once before completely ruling it out — I gave it a shot (no pun intended.) I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my first time with the Dilaudid, but I found that when I injected the drugs, I didn’t need to do as much. It was a smart financial move on my part to give up snorting the drugs.
I was already in debt before receiving the briefcase and now the debt had tripled. I needed to come up with a plan —and quick— before I was forced to leave the country and hide from Jacob for the rest of my life.
“If we were to get a puppy, what kind would you want to get?” Chuck asked, scrolling through pictures of dogs on the phone. “A small, cute, fluffy one. Preferably one that doesn’t poop.” I replied. I had been begging Chuck for a puppy for a really long time since I’d never had a pet of my own. He always refused, but I finally got him to cave. We were leaving the house in an hour and returning with a new member of the family. I couldn’t wait.
My phone buzzed on the table and as I went to reach for it Chuck stopped me. “That better not be work trying to get you to come in, this is our only day off together. Plus, we are puppy shopping.” he said giving me an annoyed face.
“Stopppp. It’s not work, and even if it is, I’ll tell them I can’t. I’ve been wanting a dog forever, you think I’d leave to go get yelled at by customers? I said opening the text.
“Hey girl, I know we haven’t talked since I left for maternity leave. But Jett told me you had gotten some green for him, and I was wondering if you could get me some Blues. I need 50. I’ll give you $35 a piece. Let me know.”
“Babe… I gotta go.” I said jumping up from the couch. Chucks face fell and he looked both confused and frustrated. “I’m sorry honey, it’s an emergency. One of the managers got sick and had to go home. They don’t have anyone else. I’ll be gone 2 hours tops. I promise, then we can go to the pet store. I’m so sorry.” I said kissing his forehead and running into the bedroom before he could respond.
I grabbed 5 baggies and shoved them into my bra while quickly throwing on my work clothes. I know it was wrong for me to lie to him. But honestly I couldn’t pass up this offer. Blues go for $20 a piece and this idiot was desperate enough to pay double. If I had any chance of paying Jake back the money — I had to go, and I had to go now.
Thirty minutes later I was in her driveway. I remembered where it was from the night I dropped her off after blackmailing her into giving me 5 of her pills. I didn’t even feel bad about it, she was poisoning the twins in her belly and didn’t give a s***. She knew she was wrong, and that’s probably why she had no problem reaching out to me for these.
The front door swung open and I saw Kendra smiling and holding one of her babies. I couldn’t believe how thin she’d gotten. Clearly she hadn’t cut back on the drugs.
“Hey Kendra,” I said as I approached, “who’s this little guy?”
“This is Liam, his sister is sleeping so… shhh.” She tip-toed into the house and I followed closely behind. If I’m being honest, I was almost certain that Child Protective Services would have taken her babies away the minute she popped them out, considering the fact that she had 500 pills on her at any given time. Liam looked… surprisingly healthy for a baby born addicted to drugs.
“Where’s your grandma?” I asked looking around as she shut the door behind me. “My grandma? What are you talking about?” she asked looking puzzled. “Yeah, your Grandma, Grams or whatever. The lady who was gonna beat me up. That night I dropped you off here you said she wasn’t going to be happy with me.” She started rocking Liam suddenly and ‘shushing’ him, which was weird because he wasn’t even crying. “He’s getting fussy, I’m gonna go lay him down.” She said turning and heading down the hallway. Maybe she had super Mom powers and could tell when her baby was about to get fussy, because he looked fine to me. Weird.
Once she was out of sight, I began surveying the living room. There were dirty diapers and cigarette butts littering the floor, and I suddenly felt so sad for these babies. Not only was their mother an addict, but they had to live in this fil–…
“Hey b****.“ A mans voice interrupted my thought process and I spun on my heels to face him.
Kendra was nowhere in sight, neither were the babies. It was a large African American man, maybe 6ft 3 wearing a wife beater and jeans.
“Oh. Hello.” I said, confused as to who the hell he was and why he was calling me a ‘b****’. He stepped closer, and that was when I noticed the gun tucked into his waistband.
“Sit down.” He ordered, pointing to the couch.
Not wanting to argue with an armed man – I reluctantly headed to couch and sat down slowly. I glanced around nervously for Kendra thinking this was some sort of a mistake, but she was nowhere to be found.
“So you the Trick that stole from me? Huh?” he said menacingly, stepping closer. Trick, doesn’t that mean, prostitute? What the hell…
“Wait, what? Okay, clearly this is some sort of a mistake. I don’t even know you. And I’m certainly not a prostitute” I was relieved once I realized he had the wrong person. “Where’s Kendra?” I asked glancing past him. “Don’t worry about Kendra, B****. She ain’t your friend.”
He slid one of the kitchen chairs across the room and slammed it down in front of me. He plopped down into it, releasing his gun from his waistband and setting it flat on his lap. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I was struggling to breath. I was pretty sure I was about to die.
“Listen…Sir. I feel like there is a misunderstanding. Kendra called and asked me to bring her some–“
“Shut the f*** up. This is how it’s gonna go down. You came here with 50 pills right? Guess what? They’re mine now. Hand em over.” He said leaning forward and sticking his hand out. I suddenly realized what was going on. I was getting robbed.
I wanted to speak, but something inside me told me it would only make it worse.
“Hand them the f*** over, NOW!” he screamed. It looked like his eyes were about to pop out of his head, he looked scary as sh**. I jumped in response to his yell and began fumbling around in my bra for the bag of pills. Pablo Escobar would have shot this guy by now… I handed over the bag and he snatched it from my hand.
“See you thought you were all “big and bad” because you were the “manager” of a f***ing restaurant? You thought that gave you power? You don’t know the first thing about f***ing power. What the hell is wrong with you, stealing from a damn pregnant woman.”
His voice was so deep and so loud it vibrated my chest as he spoke.
“Yeah. I know all about what happened between you and her.” he said, leaning forward in the chair and lowering his voice. “See, Kendra was married to my brother and he up and left her, pregnant and alone. I felt bad and told her she could live with me–on one condition. She helps me out. Kendra doesn’t even do pills you stupid c***. You think she would risk her babies lives? My niece and nephew? She loves them more than anything.”
I sunk into the couch as the realization of what was happening set in. I felt like I was going to pass out.
“Those pills weren’t hers,” he continued, “she was just the messenger. She gets the pills from her Dad, and brings them to me. The pills you forced her to give you? They were MINE.”
I opened my mouth to speak and he held his hand up to stop me.
“You lucky I don’t kill you where you sit girl. If it wasn’t for Kendra telling me to take it easy on you — you’d be dead and buried in the back yard, I don’t f*** around bout mine. Get yo ass up, and get the hell out of my damn house. Now”
I jumped up from the couch and ran toward the door. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Kendra emerge from one of the bedrooms and into the hallway rocking her baby. I couldn’t help but feel foolish. I had chastised her for being a terrible mother and the pills weren’t even hers, she didn’t do drugs.
When I pulled the front door open, my eyes were locked on my car, preparing to run full speed the second I stepped outside. Before I left, I heard the man’s cell phone ring and when he answered, everything suddenly made sense.
“Yo, this is Grams… what’s up.”
My adrenaline was exploding like fireworks inside my body and I needed to get high to calm the hell down. I was set up, and I almost died.
I pulled into a McDonalds and parked under a tree. My windows were tinted enough that I could do a shot right here and no one would ever know. My hands trembled as I pulled the syringe and spoon from my purse. I smashed a pill into powder on one of my cd cases and dropped the powder into the spoon. Before I could mix it up, my phone rang.
S***, it was Chuck.
“Hey Babe.” I said, trying my best not to sound like I’d just escaped certain death.
“Hey.” He said abruptly.
There was silence on the other end.
“Hello?” I said, mixing up the solution and uncapping the syringe.
“Where you at?” he asked.
“I’m still at work, I should be done soon. What’s up?” I tied the belt around my arm and began growing impatient. He needed to hurry up and spit it out so I could do this before I lost my damn mind.
“Just wondering. It’s weird though, cuz… I came here to get something to eat and figured we could just leave for the pet store straight from here. But, guess what?”
Chills suddenly crept up my spine. I dropped the syringe into the passenger seat and covered my mouth with my hand.
“Your manager said you’re not here, he actually said they never texted you to come in. So… I’ll ask you again. Where are you?”